In honor of our captain's 34th birthday, we figured we'd celebrate by honoring the best players to ever wear number 34. The list of hall of famers to wear the number 34 is long and wide. Much longer than other numbers. The number 77 for instance only has one legend on it's list. (We miss you Jamie!) But for 34 the committee spent hours huddled in a corner at Backbooth arguing for their favorites. Chairs were thrown, bottles were smashed. In fact, an unnamed member ended up with a black eye after debating the merits of Charles Oakley vs. David Ortiz. We finally reached a consensus and now present to you the best players to ever wear the number 34.
Mr. Oakley reaches the honorable mention list based on his Barra Brava merits alone. Oakley was known to gamble with Michael Jordan and once beat up a dude who owed him money. And that man was a teammate. Talk about hood.
10. Ricky Williams
Ricky makes the list not only for his Heisman Trophy win but also because he once retired from football because he didn't want to stop smoking weed. That makes him our kind of guy.
9. David Ortiz
Big Papi can absolutely crush a baseball. In fact he's one of the the best to have ever done it. The fact that he seems to do it with such joy puts him at number nine on the list.
8. Charles Barkley
While most of the world now knows Sir Charles from his role as an analyst with the NBA on TNT or his spot in one of the greatest movies of all time Space Jam, Barkley was one of the most prolific rebounders of his era. His 12,546 career rebounds place him 18th all time. The fact that Barkley has no championships to his name prevent him from going any higher on the list.
7. Earl Campbell
You'd be hard pressed to find a better rusher than Earl Campbell. Campbell was the first person to lead the NFL in rushing in each of his first three seasons in the league. And his four games with over 200 yards in 1980 is still a league record.
6. Rollie Fingers
Rollie's on the list for his sweet handlebar mustache. Oh and his all star appearances, World Series championships, and Cy Young award. But mostly the mustache.
5. Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem was a dominant NBA defender and could change games based on his shot blocking ability alone. The fact that he didn't start playing basketball until the age of 15 makes this even more astonishing. Olajuwon owns the coolest nickname on this list earning the name "The Dream" from a college coach who said his dunking was like a dream.
4. Bo Jackson
The first two sport superstar Bo excelled at both football and baseball. Unfortunately for Bo, and for all of us watching, injuries derailed what could of been a two sport hall of fame career. At least we'll always have Bo running over The Boz on Monday Night Football. #BoKnows
3. Walter Payton.
One of the greatest running backs who ever lived, "Sweetness" had a propensity for making defenders look foolish. His 16,726 career rushing yards rank second all time. Plus he had a pretty sweet jheri curl.
2. Nolan Ryan
"The Ryan Express" was one of baseball's most dominant pitchers. Ryan is the career leader in both no hitters thrown and in strikeouts and was known to be a bit of a badass as well. His legendary fight with Robin Ventura is just one of the many examples of Nolan kicking ass both on and off the mound. We would love to knock back a pint or four with Nolan Ryan and cruise the streets of Orlando looking for a fight. You have an open invitation to join us any time Mr. Ryan!
Superman. Shaq Daddy. Shaq Diesel. The Big Aristotle. Shaq Fu. These are just a few of the nicknames Shaq has earned (or given himself) over the years. Most of us know him as the most dominant center of his generation. A man who could not only block shots and grab rebounds but dominate on the offensive end as well. Shaq became known for his off the court efforts as well, starring in movies and video games and cutting a rap album.
While many people in Orlando will never forgive Shaq for abandoning the Magic after the 1995-1996 season I, for one, love him. His departure led to the downfall of the franchise and allowed Orlando City to come in and cement their place as THE pro sports franchise in Orlando and set up Orlando to be the soccer capital of the south.
Happy 34th birthday Kaka!!